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Slickrock 100: For The Fun of It

By Danielle Caruso on January 03, 2024
5 min read

The commitment to ride 100 miles of Slickrock in 24 hours might never cross a typical mountain biker’s mind. The possibility is merely daunting. Slickrock, a scenic desert trail, located in Moab, Utah, offers 10.5 miles of trail weaving up and down expansive Navajo Sandstone, slick to the original settlers by horse and carriage but tacky to any daring new-age rubber tires. These unordinary, rolling rocks are resemblant of Jurassic times, a total juxtaposition to the full-suspension mountain bikes and gas-powered two-wheeled machines frequenting the trail. Generations ago, this hard-to-the-touch rock was a dueling ancient desert with ever-changing wind-blown sand dunes undeniably treacherous to any curious human.

"I had a crazy thought pop into my mind: I'm going to ride 100 miles of Slickrock in 24 hours."

With a sprite, youthful demeanor, and an unconventional perspective relative to what is humanly possible, Chase Caughey, 20, is unfazed by the dramatic terrain, heat, and arduous physical demand that mountain biking just one lap of Slickrock entails. What started as a simple idea became a reality because “why not?”, Chase thought to himself. “I had a crazy thought pop into my mind: I'm going to ride 100 miles of Slickrock in 24 hours.”

To Chase, this challenge seemed thrilling and possible. No underlying purpose. No race date. No formal start time. No crowd. No competitors–just Chase, his bike, and an ultimate surrender to 100 miles of pedaling in the desert. Chase had never heard of anyone else attempting this pursuit, so why not try it? It’s 100% possible–let’s keep it simple. With some ecstatic support from his family and a bump of courage from the KÜHL bike team, Chase chose a date to ride and we showed up.

Challenge: Slickrock 100

Location: Moab, Utah.

Length: 100 miles.

Trail: Slickrock

Rider Profile

Rider: Chase Caughey

Age: 20

Hometown: Canton, Ohio

Motto: Ride your bike and have fun.

Ride Day Schedule

5:30am - Wake up

Get out of your head. Don’t think “ooh this is going to be hard” or “this is going to hurt.” Find the fun in it and just get on with it.

5:45 am - Eat a Pop Tart

Not too much, not too little.

5:47 am - Arrive at the Trailhead

Everything for my pursuit ahead is as ready as possible. My list of things I need or want to get done is off my mind. I’m ready to ride my bike.

6:00 am - Load Up

All of my spares are ready. I’ll ride with caution to minimize the chances of something breaking. I’ll remember to avoid making irresponsible decisions.

6:11 am - Moving at My Own Pace

I didn’t start right at 6 am because it was still dark. I waited a few minutes to be fully ready.

7:20 am - First Lap Complete

To keep my endurance throughout the ride, I’ll drink one 20-ounce bottle of water with 70 grams of carbs from an electrolyte drink mix per lap and some whole food to keep my stomach settled for the challenge.

10:00 am - Staying Focused on the End Goal

I’m able to keep my focus by properly hydrating and nourishing my body to keep the ride smooth. I’m ticking away one lap at a time and not thinking about things outside of each pedal stroke and the terrain 10 feet ahead.

12:00 pm - Taking My Time

I took an extra 10 minutes at the van in the parking lot because someone came out to say hi and show support.

1:00 pm - Audio Boost

I love playing Suicideboys in my earbuds at a loud volume.

2:00 pm - Overcoming the Recurring Challenge

My bike was basically brand new, but the b-tension screw on the derailleur kept adjusting itself and I experienced trouble shifting. The chain dropped multiple times and I got a bit frustrated. I had to keep adjusting it as it came loose.

4:11 pm - Practice Positive Mind Games

For the first 10 hours I had good fun and the lap times came pretty easy, all spot on the target time. When I was getting tired and I wanted to get off my bike, I started to watch the time more. This is when I started breaking the big goal into smaller chunks. I had to shift my mindset because 10 hours of anything is difficult, but only two more laps isn’t so bad.

1:20 pm - Finding Delight in the Ride

I’m halfway finished. The “woohoo” feeling is pretty awesome. Sometimes it comes from feeling really good and mashing a ton of watts and sometimes it’s on single track when I feel really confident and in control of the bike.

5:00 pm - Yum, Snacks

Personal rewards keep my legs pedaling. This Uncrustable keeps me fueled.

6:00 pm- Staying Motivated Lap by Lap

Visualizing my completed 100-mile ride on Strava keeps me motivated throughout each lap. I like the numbers part a lot. I probably spend most of my time staring at my power meter numbers, which is a good thing and a bad thing.

8:53 pm - Finish Slick Rock 100

Slick Rock isn’t as bad as everyone says. I’d say it’s pretty fun.

Five pieces of advice to find fun in physically demanding pursuits…

  • Get out of your Head - Don’t think “ooh this is going to be hard” or “this is going to hurt”
  • Uncover Joy - Find the fun in it and just get on with it.
  • Reward Yourself - Have little things to look forward to like a treat to eat or music
  • Be in the Moment - Limit your life stress and responsibilities to avoid having anything else on your mind.
  • Many Mini Goals > One Big Goal - Break it up in your head to have more manageable chunks and get smaller achievements throughout the endeavor

"Find the fun in it and just get on with it…"

There is often an underlying search for a deeper meaning of “why?” and an allusive sense of purpose when we plan out our personal endeavors. Sure, our endless pursuit of goals and understanding our “why” is what makes us human, but what if we turned seeking into surrender? What if, instead of asking “why?” we infused our lives with the curiosity and levity of “why not?”

"Everything I do is on a whim because after I do it, it feels good."

According to Chase’s perspective, there is an ease to living in the possibility and there is a delight in pursuit of a challenge. “Everything I do is on a whim because after I do it, it feels good.” What’s the next challenge ahead? Instead of ruminating on why, rather commit to the pursuit and open up to where it takes you. Surrendering to the process is the real challenge. This is Chase’s method. Chase rides his bike for the fun of it.

If you’re not having fun, you're not doing it right.

Chase Caughey



What is Slickrock?

The Slickrock Trail is a renowned loop trail located near Moab, Utah. Known for its challenging terrain and stunning vistas, the trail is primarily used for mountain biking, but it's also accessible for motorcycles and hikers. The trail surface is predominantly Navajo sandstone and provides good traction, despite its "slick" appearance.

What is Slickrock made of?

Slickrock is primarily made of Navajo sandstone interspersed with occasional vegetation. This type of rock provides a unique surface that offers good traction for mountain bike tires, despite its slick appearance.

How long is Slickrock?

The Slickrock loop is approximately 10.5 miles long and is considered to be one of the most popular mountain biking trails in the world. The trail offers a mix of steep climbs and descents, making it best suited for experienced riders.

How hard is Slickrock?

Slickrock is a challenging trail mainly intended for skilled mountain bikers. The sandstone terrain features steep ascents and descents, technical sections, and can be physically demanding. Environmental factors like high temperatures add to the difficulty. Not recommended for beginners.

How long does Slickrock take?

For experienced mountain bikers, the estimated time to complete the Slickrock 10.5-mile loop is generally between 2 to 4 hours. Chase Caughey managed to ride 100 miles in less than 24 hours. 

Danielle Caruso
Danielle Caruso

Danielle is a South Florida native that is living, riding and building her community in Bend, Oregon. After breaking her back in Thailand in 2015, Danielle's life course shifted from pursuing hours in corporate America to logging dirt, gravel and road miles on her bike. Danielle is an active Board Member for Central Oregon Trail Alliance, a dedicated yogi, film photographer and lover of the land. Her desire to empower others around her to meet their own potential brings her great joy and willingness to serve her community.


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